US Tech Sector Hiring Cooled Off in December, CompTIA Analysis Shows

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

Hiring in the U.S technology sector slowed in December after two consecutive months of strong job gains, according to an analysis by CompTIA, the leading technology industry association.

The sector added an estimated 6,000 new jobs in the final month of 2018, CompTIA's  analysis of today's Bureau of Labor Statistics "Employment Situation" report finds.

"The tech employment numbers for last month were fairly uneventful," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA. "Looking at the bigger picture, we expect a continuation of a tight labor market for tech talent through 2019."

The unemployment rate for computer occupations for December was 2.1 percent, slightly lower than December 2017. That compares to an overall unemployment rate of 3.9 percent.

The bulk of December's new hiring occurred in computer and electronic product manufacturing (+ 3,600 jobs) and IT services, custom software development and computer system design (+ 2,200).

Positions in services, software development and systems designed accounted for an estimated 77 percent of all tech jobs gain in the IT sector in 2018.

Other information services, including search portals (+ 400) and data processing, hosting and related services (+ 300) also showed employment growth last month. The telecommunications category shed 500 jobs.

Across the entire U.S. economy the number of core technology occupations was reduced by an estimated 18,000 positions in December. For the year, there were six months of job gains and six months of job losses in core tech jobs in all industries.

New job postings for technology workers also declined in December, down about 45,000 from the previous month. Software and application developers continue to top the list of IT job postings, with more than 67,000 last month. Other in-demand positions include computer user support specialists (20,900) and computer systems engineers and architects (17,300).

The CompTIA IT Employment Tracker report is available at